Have any of you ever tried using an audiophile-grade pair of headphones or in-ear monitors? Fun fact, most people can’t tell the difference, but there’s a reason for it. Unless you hook them up to a player with a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC) or an external one, they will never perform to their fullest potential. To experience what discerning listeners rave about, FiiO gives us the Q15.

You might have seen some folks use these chunky gadgets connected to their laptops or strapped to their portable music players or smartphones. The Q15 is what the manufacturer describes as a DAC and headphone amplifier system. There are plenty of options available, but most cannot match the sleek design, premium build quality, and comprehensive features of this bad boy.

For a cool $400, FiiO presents a versatile device equipped with top-notch hardware, intuitive software, and an ergonomic form factor. Its geometric housing improves grip and also protects the AG glass sections from scratches. Buyers can get it in Black or Titanium Gray and it doesn’t matter which you choose because both look elegant.

Inside, it is armed with AKM’s flagship AK4191EQ with AK4499EX DAC combo to ensure immersive and crystal-clear audio. A full-color IPS display is discretely integrated near the knurled volume knob and supports automatic orientation adjustment to match the position of the Q15. Switch to “Phone Mode” and the internal battery takes over to save power.

If for some reason, you would like to ditch the cables, Bluetooth connectivity uses high-resolution audio codecs like aptX Adaptive and LDAC. The Q15 package includes the DAC/Headphone amplifier unit, a dual Type-C fast-charging cable, a dual Type-C short data cable, a USB-A to USB-C adapter, a storage bag, a silicone pad, two silicone rings, and documentation.

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Images courtesy of FiiO